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Outdoors Outpost
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 • Posted June 27, 2012

A fellow named John Lloyd Scharf recently sent a letter to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept. to ask if it would be legal to shoot bigfoot in the Lone Star State. No doubt you’re thinking I made this letter up, but I assure you I didn’t. All you have to do is google ‘bigfoot,’ or maybe ‘John Lloyd Scharf,’ and in a few minutes you’ll be rolling on the floor, holding your sides, laughing hard enough to dislodge one of your favorite lungs.

Scharf’s query to TPWD didn’t exactly come out of a clear blue sky. Animal Planet, a television show I thought was cancelled years ago, recently sent several of its weirdest gooberheads into the woods of Kentucky to look for sasquatch. I didn’t watch the whole program, which should be obvious since I’m still able to type, but I did see a short clip on their website.

The gooberheads went into the forest at night and stomped around, filming stuff, hoping to run into the creature. Mostly they just saw trees, but a couple of times they managed to spotlight deer, and once they saw a raccoon. But no bigfoot. For some reason.

In an effort to lure the big guy, one of the gooberheads made some strange, gorilla-type noises, whereupon they heard, as you might imagine, gunshots in the distance. They seemed surprised that bigfoot didn’t come running out of the woods.

Of course, anyone sane enough to be allowed out in public unsupervised knows bigfoot doesn’t exist. Unless he does. But the question you’re asking about the Animal Planet show is – Are the American people really stupid enough to take such an effort seriously, or is it just that the Animal Planet people THINK we’re that dumb?

Honestly, I don’t have the answer, but judging from the comments made about an article on the State Impact/Texas website, I’d say there are an awful lot of stupid people out there.

The article, written by Terrence Henry, explains Scharf’s letter to TPWD, and is pretty tongue-in-cheek, which is the only sensible angle to the story, I guess. It includes an actual photo of a tiny Lego bigfoot standing beside a plant of some kind, but the Lego bigfoot looks more like the abobominal snowman. Also, I suspect it was staged.

Now, Scharf’s letter went straight to Colonel Pete Flores, a really nice guy who was head of law enforcement at TPWD until he retired the other day. I don’t know if the letter had anything to do with Col. Pete retiring, and I’m not going to ask, but I doubt it. Anyway, Col. Pete passed the letter off to his Chief of Staff, David Sinclair.

Sinclair wrote Scharf back a pretty long letter, considering that his reply could have just said, “Dear John, Yes. David Sinclair.” The letter explained that bigfoot is not indigenous to Texas, and since TPWD only has jurisdiction over native critters, you can blast away at sasquatch to your heart’s content, if you so desire.

That being the case, I’ve decided to start a hunting guide service for people who want to go after bigfoot in Texas. I see no reason not to capitalize on someone’s pursuit of happiness, especially if it coincides with my pursuit of income. As W.C. Fields once said, “It’s morally wrong to allow a fool to keep his money.”

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “You go right ahead and start a bigfoot hunting guide service, Kendal. No one will ever give you a dime, anyway. People aren’t that dumb.”

Au contrare. There was a fellow named Matt Pruitt who did pretty much the same thing in Arkansas a while back. He called himself the leader of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization, and charged folks (at least 31 of them) $300 to $500 a pop to take them out to look for the elusive beast. No one ever saw bigfoot, but Pruitt ended up being fined by the National Park Service for operating a business without a license. What a putz.

Well, I don’t intend to make the same mistake. I’m getting my ducks all lined up right now, and I don’t intend to confine my business to just bigfoot hunts. I figure if there are people willing to turn loose of that kind of jack to hunt sasquatch, there are bound to be some who’d jump at the chance to go after chupacabras, black panthers, wolly mammoths, and probably some other critters I haven’t thought of yet.

The best part about all this is that it might take some of the attention away from the looming zombie apocolypse, which is causing so much stupidity to creep into the gun industry lately. I’m thinking of starting a whole line of bigfoot hunting clothing, accessories, guns, and ammunition. And it will all be brown and black, instead of green.

John Lloyd Scharf may be nuttier than a can of Planters, but I like people like that. I get some of my best ideas from the space cadets. As long as Scharf doesn’t come along, asking for a cut of my profits, I’ll have it made...

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who once shot at bigfoot on a turkey hunt in Mexico. He missed. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or

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